You Can Cultivate Personal Happiness

…whether or not you have depression.

You can’t choose happiness…

…no matter how many memes say that you canYou can’t choose your feelings…they just are. However, you can choose how you react, and you can choose to cultivate happiness.

When suffering in the depths of depression, happiness isn’t just out of reach…it’s out of sight. The light of happiness cannot be seen. This can be a dangerous and scary time. It’s important to know that life has the capacity to change. Unfortunately, I can tell you from my own experiences, I didn’t believe that it could. You can change your life, though, through the desire to change and through attaining appropriate help. We can’t snap our fingers and be okay. If we want to get better, we have to work to get better.

I’m there now.

I attend psychotherapy. I take my medications. I’m more attuned to my thoughts and feelings. I can tell when my mind is beginning to spiral if I don’t do something about it. And, I can create happiness for myself. I no longer have to struggle simply to make it through the day. I can truly enjoy the day.

One way I create happiness within my life is to make time for a hobbyA hobby, by definition, is an activity pursued for pleasure. I’ve dabbled in many activities to determine which ones I like the most.

I’ve tried geocaching with my son (so much fun, but I’m allergic to everything on God’s green earth).

I’ve tried advanced coloring books for adults (fun, but I quickly became bored). 

I’ve tried board games…and love it. It’s so much fun with my family; in fact, we currently own three versions of Monopoly…my favorite being Big Bang Theory Monopoly.

I also love to write.

Oftentimes, it’s simply journaling. Occasionally, it’s tackling various types of poetryOf course, writing for my blogMedium, and other online platforms has become my favorite pastime, as is reading. I’ve recently finished reading Willpower Doesn’t Work. I plan to blog aboutit, as well, so be on the lookout.

Hobbies spark personal happiness.

They provide relaxation in the midst of physical and mental activity and cultivate a good habit rather than a bad one. That spark becomes emblazoned through increased confidence and self-esteem, and we become more closely connected to others, as well, through conversations about our hobbies or sharing in them with others.

Hobbies have the power to change a negative mood into a positive one.

Endless hobbies wait to be sampled. Try out a few.

What about leather crafting or calligraphy? Gardening? Cooking or baking? Fishing? Hiking? Scrapbooking? Genealogy? Origami? Dancing? Vlogging? Photography?

“Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake.Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” ~Dale Carnegie


→What is one way you are cultivating your happiness today?

Copyright © 2018 Alicia T-Rust. All rights reserved.

What’s the Point?

Thoughts and Ideas for the Mentally Struggling and Mentally Successful

When I first began therapy for my mental illness, I couldn’t even put a name to any of my feelings. It was as though I was having them all at once or not at all.

Overwhelmed by emotions…or just no feeling at all.

Not apathy, just…nothing.

I was detached from life.

I didn’t see the point. Continue reading “What’s the Point?”

Do You Need a Second Chance? You’ve Got One.

I believe in second chances.

People screw up, mistakes are made. Whether through divine intervention or the kindness of another human being…sometimes, we get that second chance. If mistakes are made, I believe each day — or even each moment — one can start anew…do better…be better.

My entire life was given a second chance in 1995.

Continue reading “Do You Need a Second Chance? You’ve Got One.”

Depression Relief in 10 Steps

A Book Review

There are numerous self-help books that are published each year, with consumers paying hundreds of millions of dollars looking for a fix. I’m sure most of these end up unfinished by their readers. We all want to improve ourselves and find ways to ameliorate our lives. A self-help book without action steps may fall flat.

I recently came across a self-help workbook on climbing out of depression called The 10-Step Depression Relief Workbook: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach, written by Simon A. Rego, PsyD and Sarah Fader. It’s not just a book…it’s also a workbook. You learn, and you do. This workbook will help anyone make improvements in life. The authors break it down, explaining the basics of depression and our thoughts and actions (or inactions). Continue reading “Depression Relief in 10 Steps”